Size concerns abound as Eagles land at RAC


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Photo by Jeff Lazaro |

 In the Rutgers women's basketball team 85-49 rout of Kean Tuesday, the Cougars had no center to throw at the Scarlet Knights. Two of their starting forwards were generously listed at 5-foot-11, and none matched up with the Knights' size.

Boston College, on the other hand, has a center. Her name is Carolyn Swords, and standing at a towering 6-foot-6, she is among the tallest competition RU faces this season.

"Boston College puts the ball down on the floor the same way Stanford does and they have a big 6-foot-6 kid and another 6-foot-4," said Rutgers head coach C. Vivian Stringer. "That's going to be a monster coming in here, we have to get out and play the threes and we have to contain. And you know that's hard, I always expect to have a headache."

Only four days after facing Stanford, who featured one of the top centers in the country in the form of 6-foot-4 Jayne Appel as well as six other players who are 6-foot-3 or taller, RU will again be forced to contain formidable size down low.

Swords and fellow junior Stefanie Murphy, a 6-foot-4 forward, anchor the low post for the Eagles, and combine for one of the largest front courts in the country.

The Knights struggled on the boards against Stanford who outrebounded RU 50-33, scoring 25 second-chance points in the process.

After the game, senior guard Brittany Ray said the team would put an extra emphasis on rebounding during the week. The Knights rebounded the much smaller Cougars 42-32 yesterday, but their biggest test is tonight against the Eagles.

Like Appel, senior center Rashidat Junaid will guard Swords, but the Knights may also rotate other players in to help defend. Both freshmen post players Monique Oliver and Christine Huber were used against the Cardinal, and they could see portions of playing time again tonight.

But, like Stanford, the Eagles also pose a threat from the perimeter, and they are able to work the ball outside and score if the paint is not an option.

"One thing that makes it a little more difficult is that we know the triangle offense, we run portions of that ourselves," Stringer said. "But Boston College will run so many different sets that it's not possible, and we can't even try, to even memorize it."

To make matters more difficult for the Knights, the Eagles may enter tonight's game with a chip on their shoulder.

In its first game of the season last week, Boston College was victim to a shocking 82-81 upset at the hands of Harvard. Now with five days to stew over their loss to the Crimson, the Eagles will have even more motivation for tonight.

"They're an intelligent basketball team," Stringer said. "They're going to be fully alert, mad as heck and we've got to be able to defend ourselves. I know we've got a heck of a game and I think it will be a great test for us and a great test to see how we've grown for the first time."


Steven Williamson

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